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How to Make Graffiti Stencil

Making a graffiti stencil is a great way to quickly deploy bold, graphic images. Like other graffiti techniques, graffiti stencils are generally used with spray paint. It’s relatively easy to get started with graffiti stencils regardless of your level of artistic skill. Besides spraying walls, you can use your stencils to create custom clothing, patches, posters and mixed media art.

How to Make Graffiti Stencil

Start with a generously sized piece of lightweight cardboard. This project is a great way to reuse old record covers or cereal boxes, for example.

Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media

Draw the general outline of the image you would like to stencil on the blank side of the cardboard. Alternatively, glue a photocopied or printed image you would like to stencil onto the cardboard instead.

Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media

Use pencil lines to break the image up into individual pieces that can be cut out without destroying the image. For example, if you want to stencil the letter “o”, you can’t just cut around the outer circle, or you’ll lose the inner circle. You need to break your “o” (or whatever the shape is) into two or more smaller pieces that can be removed individually, leaving thin strips in between to hold the rest of the image in place.

Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media

Place the cardboard on the heavier cardboard or cutting mat to protect your work surface, then use the craft knife to carefully cut out and remove the pieces you drew and create your graffiti stencil.

The Effects of Theatre Education

  • Students involved in drama performance coursework or experience outscored non-arts students on the 2005 SAT by an average of 65 points in the verbal component and 34 points in the math component(1)?
  • Drama activities improve reading comprehension, and both verbal and non-verbal communication skills?
  • Drama helps to improve school attendance and reduce high school dropout rates(2)?
  • A 2005 Harris Poll revealed that 93% of the public believes that arts, including theatre, are vital to a well-rounded education (3)?
  • Drama can improve skills and academic performance in children and youth with learning disabilities?

Numerous studies have demonstrated a correlation between drama involvement and academic achievement. In addition to having higher standardized test scores than their peers who do not experience the arts, student who participate in drama often experience improved reading comprehension, maintain better attendance records, and stay generally more engaged in school than their non-arts counterparts. Schools with arts-integrated programs, even in low-income areas, report high academic achievement.

The College Entrance Examination Board reported student scores from 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2005 using data from the Student Description Questionnaire indicating student involvement in various activities, including the arts. As compared to their peers with no arts coursework or involvement:

  • Students involved in drama performance scored an average of 65.5 points higher on the verbal component and 35.5 points higher in the math component of the SAT
  • Students who took courses in drama study or appreciation scored, on average, 55 points higher on verbal and 26 points higher on math than their non-arts classmates.
  • In 2005, students involved in drama performance outscored the national average SAT score by 35 points on the verbal portion and 24 points on the math section.

Research indicates that involvement in the arts increases student engagement and encourages consistent attendance, and that drop-out rates correlate with student levels of involvement in the arts.

  • – Students considered to be at high risk for dropping out of high school cite drama and other arts classes as their motivations for staying in school.
  • – Students who participate in the arts are 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance than those who do not.

From learning to read to the in-depth study of Shakespearean literature, drama can play a significant role in the continual development of students’ reading comprehension skills. Studies indicate that not only do the performance of a story and a number of other drama activities in the classroom contribute to a student’s understanding of the work performed, but these experiences also help them to develop a better understanding of other works and of language and expression in general.  The results below were gleaned from studies where educators and students alike noticed a difference when drama played a part in their classrooms,

  • A series of studies on the arts and education revealed a consistent causal link between performing texts in the classroom and the improvement of a variety of verbal skills, including especially significant increases in story recall and understanding of written material.
  • Performance of Shakespeare texts helps to improve students’ understanding of other complex texts including science and math material.
  • Drama can improve reading skills and comprehension better than other activities, including discussion.
In addition to building social and communication skills overall, involvement in drama courses and performance has been shown to improve students’ self-esteem as well as their confidence in their academic abilities.

  • High school students who are highly involved in drama demonstrate an elevated self-concept over those who are not involved .
  • Playwriting original works and dramatic presentation of existing works can help to build the self-esteem and communication skills of high school students.
  • The act of performing can help students and youth recognize their potential for success and improve their confidence .

Since the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, there has been a national focus on closing the “achievement gap” between students of varying abilities, socioeconomic status, and geographies among other factors that may directly or indirectly affect a student’s academic success.  The arts, including drama, address this issue by catering to different styles of learning, and engaging students who might not otherwise take significant interest in academics.  Additionally, research indicates that drama courses and performance have a particularly positive effect on at-risk youth and students with learning disabilities.

  • A study published in Champions of Change (1999) cites theatre arts, including performance, classes, and participation in a drama club, as a source for “gains in reading proficiency, gains in self-concept and motivation, and higher levels of empathy and tolerance towards others” among youth of low socio-economic status .
  • Drama activities can improve and help to maintain social and language skills of students with learning disabilities and remedial readers .
  • Improvisational drama contributes to improved reading achievement and attitude in disadvantaged students .

Negative Effects of Digital Technology

Digital technology goes back to well before the modern era. It basically involves the use of a special language–a system of signs that combine together to convey information. Technically, a book is a form of digital technology. Today, most people use the term “digital” to refer to computer technology, which uses a binary language of 1s and 0s. The modern computer has changed the world in ways both positive and negative.

Digital technology is changing the world in ways both positive and negative.

Alienation from Nature

  • From a certain point of view, digital technology is merely the next logical step in a long process that has seen mankind lose touch with the natural world. Critics fear that this alienation has been both the cause of unhealthy mental habits and neurosis in individuals, as well as the cause of environmentally destructive habits in society at large.

Loss of Originality

  • The critic Walter Benjamin famously described art in the 20th century as having lost its aura. Works of art were now being mass-produced by machines and originality was less important. Digital technology has taken this process even farther than Benjamin imagined, making the reproduction of digital artwork (such as a music or movie file) unlimited. Critics claim that this cheapens art and makes it harder for a creator to benefit from his or her originality.


  • Digital technology has proven to be a very destabilizing force where it has been introduced. Older hierarchies in business and politics have already been disrupted by computers and the Internet. Digital technology is inherently difficult to police and as the world becomes more digital, it will also become more lawless and out of control. Critics point to the breakdown of copyright law as an example.

Digital Divide

  • As computers and other digital tools become more important, the difference between those who have digital technology and those who don’t becomes more dangerous. Many critics point to a “digital divide” which increases the differences already existing between the rich and the poor. Bringing access to digital technology for the world’s poor is a developing problem in the new modern world.

Computers as Nature

  • From one point of view, computers are as much a creation of the natural world as trees or the rain. This is because human beings are a product of the natural world. It stands to reason that anything human beings create will be as much a part of the natural world as they are. Understanding the digital in this way shows the promise and danger of technology, as nature can be both cruel and kind.

History of Graffiti Art

Graffiti is not always referred to as art. Sometimes it is referred to as vandalism. This is because it involves the scrawling or painting of something on someone else’s property. Namely, this pertains to buildings, but it could also include signs, billboards and even vehicles. Still, this mostly art form has existed since ancient times and continues to be a strong way for people to express themselves.

History of Graffiti Art


  • The oldest form of modern day graffiti comes from Ancient Greece, and is thought to be an ad for prostitution. The ancient Romans and Egyptians also practiced graffiti on tombs, monoliths and other constructions. Mayans and Vikings also had graffiti art in their cultures. As time went on and passed into the Renaissance period, many famous artists emerged. Even those such as Donatello or Da Vinci would graffiti their names where they went. Graffiti continued in future cultures, with many invading armies painting or carving it in the walls of places they occupied. Modern graffiti artists have used the form to express themselves, their political or religious beliefs, or simply to make a mark.


  • The United States is thought to be the home of the modern graffiti movement. It began in New York City in the 1970s and spread from there. Brazilians emulated this graffiti in their own work, which is thought to be some of the best in the world, with many powerful artists coming out of Sao Paolo in particular. In the Middle East, graffiti has a short history. It has been growing since the 1990s in Iran, Iraq and Israel. In particular, the Israeli West Bank wall has become a major site for graffiti.


  • During ancient times, graffiti functioned as a simple way to alert people of the presence of underground areas or illegal activity. It was also used to mark religious symbols on holy places in a city. During the Renaissance and the years following, it was used as a sort of “I was here” marker for famous artists and invaders, and it was less of an art form. Modern graffiti is colorful, artful and often has a message behind it, which can be just about anything.


  • Graffiti of the past was much simpler than modern graffiti. It did not use many colors and was often comprised of simple shapes, though one or may have been drawn into each other. Sometimes, the graffiti was simply a name. Modern graffiti may be only a name as well, or a code name for the arts (called a tag), but it often incorporates many colors and is larger than ancient graffiti. Still, in whatever form it comes, graffiti can be recognized as vandal art.


  • The most recent history of graffiti has seen the art beginning to blend into pop culture and mainstream audiences. It is highly linked to hip hop cultures, as well as the “MTV culture” as some call it. In the late 1990s, graffiti has even been encouraged by some places, which may give artists a wall to paint on and practice their art. This shows that the future of graffiti art may lean less towards and vandalism and more towards artistic expression. However, this worries purists, since the definition of graffiti makes it an illegal art form.

Most Famous Piece of Ancient Roman Art

Ancient Rome has left a legacy that still persists in the modern world. Even if you don’t know the names of art pieces or exactly where they come from, chances are you have seen famous examples of ancient Roman artwork. They have appeared in countless reproductions, tourist magazines and art textbooks.

The remains of the Roman forum.


  • A few large, marble body parts are all that remains of the Colossal Statue of Constantine I. The statue was about 30 feet high, in a seated position, and was originally placed in the Basilica Nova of Maxentius and Constantine in the Roman Forum. The hand, with a single finger extended, is probably the most recognizable bit.
    Not intact, but still quite famous.
    Not intact, but still quite famous.


  • The ancient Romans kept domesticated dogs for safety and companionship. Cave Canem, a simple mosaic found on the floor of The Tragic Poet in Pompeii, is simply named for the Latin words “Beware of Dog,” which are also part of the mosaic. Many homes in Pompeii had similar mosaics cautioning visitors about the resident canine.
    Some things never change.
    Some things never change.

Paintings and Frescos

  • The paintings and murals that decorate The Villa of Mysteries in Pompeii are not only famous for their form but for how well they have been preserved. They depict a mysterious procession that is not fully understood, but is generally believed to be part of an ancient initiation rite into adulthood. Few paintings have survived to the present day from ancient Rome.
    Frescos in the Villa of Mysteries are some of the few paintings that have survived from ancient Rome.
    Frescos in the Villa of Mysteries are some of the few paintings that have survived from ancient Rome.


  • There are many structures and buildings that still strike the onlooker with wonder and awe, but the Roman Colosseum is by far the most famous. The word “Colosseum” is the most popular search term on the Internet under the buildings category. The real name for the Roman Colosseum is the Flavian Amphitheater and it was completed in 80 A.D.
    The Roman Coloseum at night.
    The Roman Coloseum at night.


  • Christianity was not well thought of in ancient Rome, but its presence did create at least one piece of famous art. The Alexamenos Graffito dates from the first century A.D. and was sketched by an unknown artist and discovered on the Palatine Hill in 1857. This simple etching is famous for illustrating how the average Roman viewed Christianity. It is clearly not complimentary, giving the person on the cross the head of a donkey and mocking the human figure — presumably Alexamenos, who is also named in the etching — for his worship of the crucified figure.

Creative Valentines Day Gift Ideas

If you’re a little strapped for cash this Valentine’s Day or you simply want to give your loved one a gift that shows you have put the effort in, why not get creative rather than simply going out to the shops and throwing money at the problem? Once you start thinking about it there are so many great things you can do: does your other half have a sweet tooth? Do they like getting out and about or would they enjoy a more relaxing treat? Whatever their preferences, there will be an idea out there to suit them and if you’re into crafts you can buy supplies from online craft outlets such as For example, you could try:

  • Personalised Soap: This is actually very easy to do – something that a lot of people don’t realise. All you have to do is get a pre-made melt (very cheap) and microwavable pour base soap, to which you add your chosen fragrance oil and soap-safe dye if desired. When the soap has all been melted and the ingredients mixed together you can simply pour it into the mould, wait for it to set and then turn it out. To make the gift extra special you can put it into a decorated box or basket. If there are any scents your partner particularly likes then this would be the perfect present for them.
  • Handmade Card: You don’t need to go out and search around for a card that conveys just the right message: it’s far better to make one yourself. Yes, it might  more time-consuming but that simply shows that you are willing to put the effort in and will be all the more appreciated. If you get in a stock of card-making supplies for all special occasions you will even find it works out much cheaper in the long run. Look on websites such as for pre-packaged card making kits or a wide range of craft supplies to design your own cards from scratch.
  • Romantic Day Out: Instead of buying an expensive item, why not surprise your loved on with a day out for two? The good thing about this is that it can be tailored to suit any budget. If neither of you has much cash then you can simply arrange a walk and a picnic somewhere beautiful like the mountains or the beach, or if you have a bit more to spare you can go on an old-fashioned ‘date’ like dinner and a film. Basically, it’s all about giving the gift of quality time together so think about whatever the two of you like doing and go with that.
  • Memory Box: The great thing about this gift idea is that it really shows you have put a lot of thought and effort into it. Find a sturdy box and decorate it however you want to (with ribbons, shells, stones, paint – whatever you think looks best) and then fill it with things that would be special to the two of you. This can be photos of some of your favourite times, concert tickets, small gifts that evoke memories – the list goes on and on. This is something you can both look at in years to come and remember all the things you’ve done. It can also be added to over the years so make sure you leave some space!
  • Mix CD: If you’ve been a couple for a while then there are bound to be songs that are special to you, or that evoke particular memories. Why not go through your iTunes and put together a great playlist for your loved one? This shows you’ve put some thought into a present but at the same time it’s incredibly easy to put together, can be burned in seconds and only costs the price of a blank CD. To  make it a bit more special you can always get creative when designing the sleeve. Either print out a photo of the two of you or draw it yourself if you are an arty sort of person. If looked after well it can last for years.

3D Animation / Graphic Design Job Description

Graphic design and 3-D animation blend art with technology to communicate informative, entertaining and inspiring ideas. Graphic design focuses on creating visual concepts for brochure, advertisement and magazine layouts, while 3-D animation focuses on creating three-dimensional virtual objects for use in digital products. These professions are ideal for individuals with strong artistic abilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for graphic designers was $44,150 as of May 2012. The median annual wage for multimedia artists and animators was $61,370 as May 2012.

Many graphic designers and 3-D animators work for advertising agencies.

Doing the Work

  • Superior creative skills play a key role in the effectiveness of 3-D animators and graphic designers. They must create visual concepts and ideas than can engage and appeal to consumers of their products. These professionals also require strong computer skills and a deep knowledge of design and animation software to formulate ideas and prepare their products. In addition, they need time-management skills to plan their time well and beat tight deadlines. Because graphic designers and 3-D animators may work in teams — especially when working on large projects — they need good communication skills to confer effectively with project staff and clients.

Animating Objects

  • The main responsibility of 3-D animators is to create virtual objects that can move and rotate like real-life objects in movies, music videos and computer games. In the production of an animated movie, for example, 3-D animators may capture an actor’s movements to create computer generated images, which they can manipulate to make animated scenes. These animators can also manipulate light, texture and color to create 3-D drawings and illustrations for product labels and presentations.

Developing Designers

  • Graphic designers are responsible for the overall look of a website, ad, magazine or brochure. They might create the images to appear on the front cover of a magazine and select the size, font, color and length of headlines, heading and texts. They might also present statistical data in the form of visual graphs, images and tables. In advertising, graphic designers create designs for company logos and product illustrations.

Getting There

  • Employers of graphic designers and 3-D animators prefer candidates with bachelor’s degrees. Aspiring graphic designers can earn bachelor’s degrees in graphic, computer or multimedia design, while 3-D animators can secure bachelor’s degrees in 3-D animation or closely-related fields. Individuals with degrees in other disciplines, such as education, can pursue certificate programs in graphic design or animation to enter these professions. A master’s degree in fine arts, combined with vast work experience and a strong portfolio, can help 3D animators and graphic designers secure large and high profile projects and break into multimedia management positions.

If You’re Told to Give Up on Art

It’s hard to imagine that anyone would tell another person to give up on something. It’s even harder to believe that this happened to the artist who drew Weighted Stasis, the figure drawing featured today. It’s by Dan Gheno, author of Figure Drawing Master Class: Lessons in Life Drawing, which is part of a special offer that also includes a one-year subscription to Drawing magazine–an excellent combination of resources. Read his excerpt below on how to train your hand to do what you want it to and achieve your desired results. And if you’re ever told to quit your art, then send the naysayer my way.

Figure drawing lessons, art by Dan Gheno |

Also, there’s still time to enter the Richeson Product Project. In fact, you can enter daily through May 15 for your chance to win free art supplies. Don’t miss your chance–today’s prize alone is valued at $200. ~Cherie

Training Your Hand
by Dan Gheno

How many times have you heard the lament, “I would love to draw and paint–if I had some talent for it.” My response is usually, “You don’t need any talent. You just need to work hard.”

One might be better off not having any talent to start with. Too many people hopelessly fixate on the word “talent.”It is not an easily definable word. Talent is an elusive concept that means many things to many people. It can refer to all aspects of the artistic endeavor, including broad, overarching issues of originality and imagination, and the artist’s ability to organize interesting color and value relationships. But to most people invoking this mysterious word, “talent” simply represents the ability to make the hand do what the eye sees and the brain wants or, to use a technical term, eye-hand coordination.

Many children are born with strong eye-hand coordination. As a kid, I knew young artists of my generation who could draw circles around me. I had so little eye-hand coordination that my more talented friends suggested I give up drawing and find another mode of creativity. Unfortunately, none of those individuals draw anymore. If you are born with great talent and you never had to fight to train your hand, it’s easy to rest on your laurels. As a young artist, it’s hard to know that if you don’t use a talent, you’re condemned to lose it.

As a child, I didn’t personally know any adult artists; I looked to the Old Masters for inspiration. I scrutinized Michelangelo’s life with exasperation, noting that he already had strong control of the medium by his teenage years. I used to lie in bed at night and fantasize about entering into a time warp, where I could spend a decade developing my eye-hand coordination, then returning to my life as a child with some manual dexterity amassed. I knew the next-best solution was to practice, day in and day out, for at least an hour or two daily until I gained the control I lacked.

I practiced straight lines and circles, cubes and pyramids, drawing them repeatedly with abysmal results. I soon realized that I needed a new strategy. Taking a page from the many how-to manuals popular at the time, I started to copy body parts from Old Master drawings, anatomy books and expert comic-book artists of the 1950s and 1960s, trying to collect a vocabulary of visual shapes, just as a writer tries to build up a base of useful words and phrases. ~D.G.

Appreciate The Newest Technologies With A WiFi Home Theater System

Should you like to savor your pictures the way they are supposed to be enjoyed, you then should buy WiFi home theater system. These techniques are inexpensive plus they will permit you to take full advantage of your films and music. The very best thing about them is that they’re portable and do not have nasty wires. By visiting the page of nr1504 one can obtain some helpful info on the product.

Because a WiFi system doesn’t have wires, you can take it anywhere and move it from room to room. This makes it easy to use wherever you want it and you’re not limited to keeping it in one room all the time. Should you want to maneuver your system to the basement or an upstairs Television, you will be in a position to do so with no issue. By visiting the page of nr1504 one can gain some useful info on the product.

One other great point about these techniques is that they are compatible with all of your Wireless devices. Should you want to enjoy the songs from a streaming service on your smart phone, you just have to wirelessly connect it to your home theatre system and it is possible to tune in to your own music via your audio speaker. If you wish to look at a movie on your tablet PC but can not withstand the inferior sound from the loudspeaker, only use your Bluetooth to link to your tablet PC to your home audio system and appreciate best quality sound.

WiFi home stereo systems give you a ton of versatility and they allow you to have significantly more pleasure of your devices and your films. There is actually no reason to return to utilizing bulky wires once you upgrade to some wi fi system.

Enhance your house and make playing songs and films more enjoyable. Put in a WiFi system to your home entertainment collection now and start loving powerful appear.

Digital Technology & Its Impact on Filmmaking

Digital technology has changed the way we view films. New digital cameras capture sharper, clearer footage, and the technology has made special effects increasingly impressive. Digital technology has also become cheaper and more accessible.


  • The second half of the 20th century marked the advent of digital technology in film making. “Star Wars” was the first of its kind to use computer generated special effects. Disney’s “Tron” in 1982 was the first movie to use high resolution imagery. Seven years later, director James Cameron used computer generated images (CGI) in his live action film “The Abyss.” Ten years later, every scene in George Lucas’ “The Phantom Menace” included CGI.

Image and Sound Quality

  • Digital cameras increase image resolution which created higher quality pictures. Footage filmed with a digital camera is also easier to edit. Unlike analog film, it does not lose any signals during the editing process. Digitally recorded sound also has a higher quality than analog-recorded audio. The resolution is higher, and the sound quality does not deteriorate.

Special Effects

  • In the early days of film making, special effects were achieved through camera tricks. Those effects looked amateurish, and sometimes proved to be more humorous than convincing. Digital technology can create dazzling special effects that appear realistic and natural, and engineers use computers to insert them into the films.

Impact on Plot

  • The advances in special effects have impacted how movies are made. However, some people argue that as special effects get better, movie plots become worse. Critics claim that directors exploit digital technology so much that they ignore a weak plot. The result is a technically spectacular movie with a insubstantial story.

The Democratization of Filmmaking

  • Digital technology has made the art of film making more accessible. Decent quality digital camcorders are available to anyone, and editing programs can be accessed on a home computer. Websites such as You Tube provide global exposure for budding filmmakers. Films that would not have been before digital technology can now be seen all over the world.

How to Become a Theatrical Makeup Artist

A makeup (also known as make-up) artist creates and implements character design involving looks. They often work closely with the costume designer to create an entire look. In the theater, makeup artists must also work with environments as the main goal is to ensure that the character/actor’s facial expressions are visible to the audience. In the past, performers did their own makeup; however, in the 21st century it is more common to find professional makeup artists doing it for them.

This is an example of a small train case.

Learning the skills

  1. Every career demands certain skills and abilities from its professionals. Some key traits for a makeup artist are: natural talent; ability to speak and listen well; good manner with people; eye for detail; a flexible nature; a positive nature; patience; hand-eye coordination; ability to draw straight lines and consistent shapes; creativity; great portfolio; good grooming and personal hygiene habits.
  2. There are two ways to learn how to be a makeup artist. You can go it alone or you can go to a school. Either way you will have to practice.
  3. Some ways to sneak in practice is to have makeup parties, read books on makeup, volunteer for makeup-related jobs, find a mentor or be an apprentice or become an intern.
  4. If you chose to go to school to learn the art of makeup, make sure you shop around. A good article on the subject is “Before You Choose a Makeup School” by Mary Erickson. She cautions that your first impression of a school is probably not necessarily indicative of the reality of it.
  5. Here are a few things to keep in mind while looking to schools:

    -Are the teachers working professionals?
    -Is the curriculum up-to-date?
    -Is the curriculum advanced (or beginning) enough for your level?
    -Is the class/program specialized or specific?
    -Does the school offer on-the-job training or co-op programs?
    -Does the school offer job placement help?
    -What is the school’s published placement rate of its graduates?
    -How large or small is the average class?
    -How much time is given to hands-on training?
    -Does the school supply models?
    -As the program in or cover the area(s) you are interested in?
    -Ask to sit in on a few classes. If the school refuses, see it as a red flag that they are more interested in cranking out graduates rather than really helping you.
    -What is the school/class cancellation policy?
    -Ask to speak with past graduates. If they decline, see it as another red flag.

Getting the job

  1. Finding job openings can be tricky if your school does not offer placement help, or you do not already know someone in the field. Use the classified ads in papers, job boards, company websites, online job boards and trade publications.
  2. Once you have the job make yourself handy and go beyond the basics of the job. Don’t settle for the status quo: be visible, be creative, be polite and professional, and be personable.
  3. Always present the highest quality work ethic in all things, in all ways.

How to Become a Sponsored Graffiti Artist

A graffiti artist’s career is an unconventional one because the activity of creating graffiti is often illegal. In addition, graffiti artists are notorious for guarding their identity and that makes it difficult to claim past work when approaching commercial clients. The leap from street art to sponsored art means the possibility of exciting collaborations with well-known brands, free art supplies, clothing, media notoriety and wide-spread exposure.

A sponsored graffiti artist can earn a wealth of fans, collectors and commissioned projects.


  1. Practice and create new artwork constantly. Learn new graffiti techniques and use new products at all times.
  2. Photograph your work. Keep an archive of each piece you complete and store it digitally on a hard drive. Use this this archive to build a portfolio to show potential sponsors.
  3. Create works on canvas. Selling individual works to art collectors is just one way to get your name out to the public. It also paves the way for future art exhibitions.
  4. Participate in art shows. Start by submitting artwork to group exhibitions, and appeal to local independent galleries to organize a solo show. Call up coffee shops and street wear shops — the types of places that support the local art scene- – and make a deal with them to hang your work on their walls.
  5. Promote yourself. Get the word out about every exhibition or large-scale project you’re involved in. Set up a Facebook page, Twitter account and online portfolio. Use these platforms to inform followers of the latest developments in your graffiti career.
  6. List the ways you can enhance a company’s brand, and ways they can help you at the same time. A graffiti artist sponsored by a paint company will sometimes do live painting demonstrations at skateboarding competitions, while one sponsored by a clothing company might contribute to clothing designs. In return, most artists will get money, products and exposure.
  7. Appeal to brands. Research some fashion and spray paint brands that you know and like. Write and send query letters to those brands, directing them to your portfolio and stating why they should sponsor you as a graffiti artist.
  8. Befriend local graffiti artists that have sponsorship and learn the ropes from them. Once you have interest in your work, you will need guidance in negotiating deals and contracts.
  9. Continue with your personal graffiti practice. Brand sponsors may restrict your creativity in some ways, so it’s up to you to progress and experiment with your own art.

5 Easy Photoshop Tips for Beginners

In this article I will walk you through some basic Photoshop retouching skills. These 5 easy Photoshop tips for beginners will be a great start to learning to proces your photographs.

1. Learning Keyboard Shortcuts

Learning keyboard shortcuts will help you to speed up your processing workflow. There are few key shortcuts for different tools in the tool bar. A few of the most widely used shortcuts are:

Photoshop keyboard shortcuts

  • V = move tool
  • F – toggles through display screen modes
  • Space bar = temporary hand key
  • B – paintbrush tool
  • D – sets the foreground/background colorss to default
  • X – swaps between background and foreground color
  • E – eraser tool
  • S – stamp or cloning tool
  • W – quick selection tool
  • Ctrl+j – duplicates the selected layer

There are just few of the most regularly used Photoshop shortcuts. When you start using the program more, your knowledge of shortcuts will gradually increase. Once you are aware of the most used shortcuts retouching pace will be faster than ever.

2. Color Enhancing – Saturation versus Vibrance

Photoshop tips vibrance

Color is another domain you can try while enhancing your photographs. Generally when you are beginning in photography, enhancing the color of every image looks good, as if the colors are speaking out of the photographs. It will be lot more helpful if you can understand the difference between how saturation and vibrance works. Go to Image menu and choose Adjustment under the menu

As shown in the image to the right, select the Vibrance option. You will get two options under the menu – Vibrance and Saturation. Vibrance increases the saturation of less saturated colors. This option avoids yellow and orange skin tones. Basically vibrance works best for portraits.

Photoshop tips saturation color adjustments

On the other hand, saturation increases the intensity of all the colors in your image equally. This may not be a good option for portraits or peoples photos. What I can recommend is this: slowly start with vibrance for the color enhancement and use saturation later if you want to pump up the color more.

If you compare the two photos below, you will understand how vibrance is only responsible for increasing the intensity of less saturated colors, where as saturation increases the intensity of all colors equally.

Photoshop vibrance adjustment

Photoshop saturtation adjustment

3. Adding a Vignette

Photoshop vignette

Vignetting is basically a technique to darken the edges of your frame so that the eyes move to the subject more easily. This procedure works best when you have a subject in the center. Our eyes tend to move towards the brighter part of the image and recede on the darker side. This technique will result in dark space around the subject.

There are lots of manual ways you can add vignetting in your photos but I will talk about how to easily add vignetting in your images via Photoshop. Go to Filters Menu at the top and select “Lens Correction”, then choose the Custom Tab on the right. The third section down is for adding a vignette. Slide the Amount to the left to darken, and Midpoint to adjust the size of the circle.
Photoshop tips vibrance Photoshop tips vignetting

4. Adding Sharpness and Details

Photoshop filter lens correction vignette

Adding sharpness is another technique for beginners in Photoshop. This will make your image look more detailed. I would suggest detailing most of your images with appropriate values. But make sure you sharpen, or detail your images with a small value if you are going to upload images on Facebook because it compresses the images and adds some detail to make it took a bit sharper. So when an already sharpened image is uploaded in Facebook, there is a change of it looking too edgy.

 Photoshop high pass filterLike any other technique, there are many ways you can add details in Photoshop. I will show you a very simple technique. Once you understand how this works you can experiment with some of the other techniques.
  • Step 1. Duplicate the selected layer with a keyboard shortcut Ctrl+J (PC) or Command+J oP MAC
  • Step 2. Open the High Pass filter: Filter > Other > High Pass on the top layer
  • Step 3. Apply an appropriate value (just to see the edges in the image) and click Okay
  • Step 4. Change the blending mode of the top layer to Overlay
  • Step 5. Adjust the opacity of that layer to your taste


5. Photoshop Filter Gallery

Photoshop tips filters

Filters are basically automated effects that you apply to your images with a few clicks. Filters can help you to achieve certain special effects or looks. There are various filters in Photoshop, which you can pick individually, each filter results in different effect when applied to different images. You an also apply more than one and stack them. Though I don’t use filters much, it’s good to explore if you are just starting out in Photoshop. Later, when you are more familiar with advanced tools and techniques you can try to create the similar effect from manual options and controls.

To apply a filter select the layer and go to Filter > Filter Gallery. Before you apply any filter in the gallery make sure to change your image to 8 bit. You can do that by going to Image > Mode > 8 bits/channel

Photoshop filter gallery

I hope these 5 basic Photoshop tips will help you to retouch and enhance your photos. If you have others suitable for beginners please share in the comments below.

How to Design a 3D Kitchen Using Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is an excellent tool for creating just about any digital image. While Photoshop is not normally used to create 3-D artwork or designs, there are options and tools that can be used to create the effect. These techniques can be picked up with relative ease compared to using a more traditional 3-D-based design software. Once completed, your kitchen design can be used to create a full overhaul of your existing kitchen layout.

How to Design a 3D Kitchen Using Adobe Photoshop


  1. Click the line tool and set the pixel size to 4. Click the circle on the middle left section of the the screen and create a small (1-inch diameter or less) dot for the vanishing point of the illustration. This will allow you to create a 3-D kitchen using single point perspective. Draw a rectangle around the perspective point so that the dot is in the upper right corner for the back wall. Click the line tool on the upper right-hand corner and drag it to the upper right hand corner to create a ceiling line. Click on the bottom right-hand corner of the back wall rectangle and drag this to bottom right corner of the screen to create the bottom of the right wall.
  2. Click the line tool inside the dot and drag the tool diagonally to the upper right to create the top of the cupboard. Click and drag another line just under this to create the bottom front edge of the cupboard. Click on the top cupboard line halfway up the line and drag a vertical line down to connect to the bottom front edge of the cupboard. This will create the end of the cupboard.
  3. Click in the bottom left corner of the cupboard and drag a horizontal line across the screen to the right to create the bottom of the cupboards. Click inside the dot and drag two lines going diagonally to the bottom right corner of the screen to create the top of the oven and kitchen counter. Click inside the dot and drag a line down and to the right so it goes off the middle bottom right of the screen. This will create the bottom of the kitchen counters and oven. Draw a rectangle with your line tool to the left of the perspective point to create the refrigerator. Click on the upper right and bottom right corner of the refrigerator and drag a line from each corner into the perspective point.
  4. Click on the line denoting the front edge of the kitchen counter, directly to the left of the back wall. Drag a line horizontally to the right until you hit the back edge of the kitchen counter. Click at the same point where the horizontal line was started and drag a vertical line down from this point to the bottom edge of the kitchen counter. This will create the back corner of the kitchen counter.
  5. Add three vertical lines inside the cupboards to create the separate cupboard doors. Click inside the dot and drag a diagonal line that is between the bottom of the cupboard and the top back of the kitchen counter. Add four vertical lines, one near the end of the counters, two grouped close together near the bottom right of the screen to create the top right section of the oven, and one in between to show the left end of the oven. Add two perpendicular horizontal lines to create the right side edge, and then two more perpendicular vertical lines to show the rest of the right side edge of the stove. Repeat this on the left end of the stove.
  6. Add the handles to the refrigerator and cupboards with small rectangles that you create with vertical lines. Add the cabinets to the kitchen counter with two diagonal rectangles under the right side of the kitchen counter. Click on the square brush for the eraser and set the size to 25 pixels. Erase all the overlapping or unnecessary perspective lines you used to create the cupboards, oven, refrigerator and kitchen counter.
  7. Use the paint bucket tool to add color or shading to the picture. Click on the color you would like and dump this on the area you want colored. Create shadows by choosing a color two shades darker and dumping that on the underside or side areas of the object. Save the image as a Jpeg at maximum resolution. You can take this design to an architect or interior designer, and they will help you bring the design to life.

What Are the Benefits of Theatre in Schools?

Theater teaches children important values, such as commitment and dedication. Most importantly, theater teaches children how to grow into the adults that they want to become. It helps them learn to accept others as well. For these reasons, theater is essential for all schools.

What Are the Benefits of Theatre in Schools?

Self Confidence

  • Being part of a play shows children that there are people who appreciate them. Theater helps build up self-esteem with each round of applause the performers receive.

Public Speaking

  • Public speaking can be a huge problem for someone too shy or someone who lacks confidence. Being part of the theater can help a child to move past her shyness and develop proper public speaking skills.


  • Theater brings out a child’s creativity in a way that no sport can. This newly discovered creativity can help improve a child’s reading and math skills by teaching her to open up her mind. If a child is playing a math whiz, she may become more interested in math as part of her research and characterization.


  • Being part of a theater program is a great way to teach a child about commitment. When a child is involved in the production of a play, he’ll realize that there are many others who are depending on him. He has duties that must be fulfilled, or he will let his co-stars and co-workers down.


  • Theater requires a lot of dedication. A child must learn his lines and memorize stage blocking. Dedication is an important skill that is always used in the real world. Children learn this the moment they participate in a play production.

Theater Renovation Grants

Theater renovation projects happen in phases, and each phase requires planning and funding to be successful. Money from grant sources is a welcome occurrence but requires its own planning and application process—awards do not happen instantly and typically happen on a yearly basis. The League of Historic American Theaters recommends the following funding sources.

Preserving America's theaters takes time and grant applications.

MJ Murdock Charitable Trust

  • One of the areas of interest to the MJ Murdock Charitable Trust is arts and culture. The focus when awarding grants for this topic are projects that enrich a cultural environment. The Rialto Community Theater located in Deer Lodge, Montana, was awarded a $300,00 grant from the MJ Murdock Charitable Trust specifically to renovate the theater. Although the Trust’s focus is not solely theater renovations, it is obvious that its priorities include this type of project. The Trust reports that about half of the grants and awards they make are given to capital improvement projects.

    MJ Murdoch Charitable Trust
    703 Broadway, Suite 710
    Vancouver, WA 98660

National Endowment For the Arts

  • The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) includes assistance for theater renovations under their Design Arts Program. Its funding includes feasibility plans for adaptive reuse, restoration and renovation. Funding can also be obtained for theaters involved in the revitalization of cultural districts. Money is available for the planning of theater renovations but not actual construction materials and costs. Apply for grant money for historic preservation, urban and architectural studies and design planning through the NEA topic of “Design.”

    National Endowment for the Arts
    1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
    Washington, D.C.20506-0001

Save America’s Treasures

  • Offered through the National Parks Service, the Save America’s Treasures Grant Program includes theaters of historical significance. The program is a federal matching grant program designed to fund restoration projects across America. Matching programs require a two-part award—the grant funds a dollar amount and the theater project committee must locate a non-Federal match for funding. Theaters must have historical significance to qualify. See the National Park Service program details for further information on applying.

What Types of Arts & Crafts Did the Aztec Tribes Produce?

The Aztecs ruled the Valley of Mexico from their main city, Tenochtitlan, during the 15th and 16th centuries. When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the 16th century, they found a well-planned city with ordered streets and large buildings resembling pyramids and an advanced culture with its own writing system, mathematical system and an elaborate religion. Most of the arts and crafts created by the Aztecs had religious significance.

Aztec arts often had religious significance.

Aztec Religion

  • The Aztecs worshiped an intricate system of gods and the three most important were Huitzilopochtli, the god of war, Tezcatlipoca, the main god, and Quetzalcoatl, the god of civilization. Most Aztecs believed that the gods must be appeased and would not provide for mankind if mankind did not make sacrifices. Human sacrifice was practiced on a massive scale and also paid tribute to the gods through plays, food offerings and sporting events. The Aztecs believed that every day of the year had one good and one bad god overseeing it. Through a series of complex calculations, using calendars, humans could predict what would occur and how to appease the gods for the best outcome.

Pottery and Sculpture

  • The Aztecs used pottery for both practical and religious purposes. The pottery was often adorned with images of the gods and featured hand-painted images. Aztec temples contain elaborate sculptures made in bas-relief that depicted the gods or the images of those selected for human sacrifice. Aztec artisans also created small sculptures of people and animals made from crystals, particularly quartz and also used jade and obsidian. The Aztec calendar was an important part of the civilization’s religious beliefs and they kept both a solar and ritual calendar. The calendars were carved in stone, and circular bands were used to carve and depict the days of the year.

Painting and Writing

  • Aztecs created pictographs, which were small paintings that recorded events in the lives and history of the tribe. The tribe maintained scribes who used natural materials such as vegetable oils to make the drawings. Pictographs were also used in the Aztec mathematical system, with paintings of different objects representing specific numbers.

Ritual Arts

  • The Aztecs used masks that depicted important citizens in the community and gods, as well as headdresses in their rituals. Aztec craftsman decorated the headdresses with bird feathers and also used feathers to adorn the clothing of the nobility. Aztec warriors tattooed themselves with designs that represented the achievements of a particular warrior.